Our mentors are mentoring, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase starting on February 9, 2021, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2021 Pitch Wars Mentor and Mentee Teams.
Next up, we have . . .
Laurie Lascos – Mentee
Julie Artz – Mentor
Julie, why did you choose Laurie?
I was instantly intrigued by the pitch because of a personal connection I have to Laurie’s story. Then when the creepy and atmospheric opening chapter gave me goosebumps, I was hooked.
Laurie, why did you choose to submit to Julie?
I submitted to Julie because I know she is a masterclass at worldbuilding and fantasy. Even though my Pitch Wars MS is a middle grade horror, there is a significant dark fantasy element, which I knew she would be able to help me flesh out. And so far, I’m 100% right. She has a fantastic ability to ask me just the right questions so that I can fill in the necessary gaps in a way that weaves theme and character arc throughout. Julie’s versatility is exactly what I need to make my story shine.
Julie, summarize Laurie’s book in 3 words.
Eerie, Secrets, Shadows
Laurie, summarize your book in 3 words.
Creepy, intense, poignant
Julie, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.
My two favorite creative outlets besides writing are singing in a local women’s choir and knitting. Very different activities, but both meditative for me!
Laurie, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?
Mostly, I’m excited about really digging deep as we deconstruct where the issues are in my manuscript and developing editing/revision strategies that will help me move forward, not just with this book but with future books. Can I say I’m selfish and want a friend and writing buddy for life? I’m also thrilled to be a part of the ’21 mentee class to share resources and encouragement, as well as get matched with additional CPs. Everyone has been so friendly and supportive. It’s been wonderful.
Laurie, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?
I’m a Canadian high school English teacher, who loves baking and figure skating. My two kids keep me busy but I’ve finally reached the Golden Time where the eldest is old enough to look after the youngest, which will become increasingly important as I move forward with my Pitch Wars revisions. I love all things cats and chocolate, and I’m a sucker for sad anime.
My book is, at its heart, about the effects of having an alcohol-dependent parent and how it can cause kids to hide and turn away from help due to shame or embarrassment. I came from such a home and I really needed to read something like my Pitch Wars story when I was younger. My hope is that kids will eventually read this story and know they aren’t alone. It was also important to me to soften the darker elements through the speculative nature of horror. It’s easier to read the hard things when that sort of distance is created.
Check out Julie’s latest or release, BEYOND THE LATCH AND LEVER …
The 2020 speculative anthology, Beyond the Latch and Lever, features emerging authors with a connection to the Pacific Northwest.
Fantasy author Julie Artz wrote her story, “The Wending Way,” as an allegory about the inflection point humanity reached in 2020. Full of imagery from the magical forest, it explores the emotions she struggles with in a world full of turmoil. Writing it helped her move through a tough year. So you’ll see a lot of Julie in the main character, Aris. She loves seeing it in print alongside stories from some writers she really admires. Hope you read it and enjoy! Add it to Goodreads, buy it from Bookshop.org, or buy it on Kindle today.
“Each story is told clearly and concisely, with the momentum derived from immediate engagement. Again, one suspects the writers and the editors of a deeply engaged collaboration. The result is a highly polished and professional work, truly worthy of its intended audience.” — Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite
Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 9-14, 2022. Make sure to stop by then and check out all our mentees’ entries when it opens.